Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Full Tilt / Stars Rumors

In case you haven't heard, here's the quick rundown for today's big news:
  • Group Bernard Tapie's deal with the DOJ has fallen through, and they're saying their dealings were sabotaged.
  • PokerStars is rumored to have reached a deal with the DOJ for a sum of $750 million to both settle their legal issues and purchase Full Tilt Poker. $330 million of that will go towards paying back FTP customers.
Pokerfuse Article

My facial expressions as I read the initial reports, checked dates to make sure I wasn't reading some bumped April fools joke, and realizing this is for real:





GBT apparently wanted to issue cashout privileges for rest-of-world players over time according to how much was in accounts and how much the accounts were played on. The DOJ was set on full withdrawal options within 90 days for all ROW players even though GBT's plan would have paid back 94.9% of all players the first day.

http://www.gaming-awards.com/NEWS/archives/8374

MTT grinder Shaun Deeb made a post on 2+2 (now removed) stating:
"Anyways the deal is already done by what I am told;

Players will be paid within 90 days
FTP will be open in the US  market
Isai will be stepping down from the company

If these statements are true I feel that Isai deserves all our thanks + business in the future with his company he is bailing out the igaming industry's tarnished reputation."
PokerStars corporate responded to the speculation by posting a 'no-comment but we'll comment soon' post in the PokerStars Blog. Considering they are typically fast to squash rumors with no basis, neither confirming nor denying says a lot in my opinion.

FTP's lawyer sent the following response to DiamondFlush confirming that the GBT deal has fallen through, yet are very optimistic:
"To address issues reported today in the media and on blogs, Full Tilt Poker confirms that its agreement with Groupe Bernard Tapie has in fact been terminated.  Despite this development, Full Tilt Poker is more optimistic than ever that its number one goal will be obtained: Full Tilt players will be repaid. Full Tilt Poker has been in settlement discussions with the US Department of Justice.  As such settlement discussions are always confidential, we are unable to comment on any rumors related to the details of those discussions.  As soon as we have information to share publicly we will do so."
Posting about the cease and desist letter Stars has sent to dataminers PTR, which they are playing up as the poker community watchdog turned victim while complying with it, seems rather like small news at this point.
 
I am beyond blown away at this FTP development. I didn't have anything in my FTP account when they unceremoniously switched to indefinite server upgrade status since I felt like my last $200 remaining when all of my cashout options were removed was basically monopoly money, which inevitably leads to a 5/10 or bust session. I've felt really bad for the people that had liferolls there, but I haven't been following it closely recently because as they often say on the Pokercast, developments kind of felt like Lucy holding the ball for Charlie Brown again.

I'm not sure what to think about essentially making the online poker industry monopoly virtually complete, but if the substantial number of rumors out there turn out to be even close to true, this is great news for anyone that has had money tied up for the past year.

Things are about to get interesting.

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